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DMBFan
12/27/2012, 12:13 PM
If I order 5 new fish, can I toss them into my QT tank all at the same time? If any one of them is sick wouldn't I risk all 5 of them? Then treating all 5 of them... is that a concern?

wooden_reefer
12/27/2012, 12:33 PM
This is a very good question.

Let me state that for me as a very experienced aquarist I always QT as many fish as I can get, intended for a certain setup.

The disadvantage you mentioned, about putting all the eggs in one basket, is quite real and I take this chance for the benefit of ease of operation and the reduced incompatibility issues. When eveyone is new, there is a greater chance of successful sharing of space.

Yes, also if your DT and QT have both been well cycled to support all fish at once, there will be no new tank syndrone in either QT or DT (If you have not done so in advance, there will be calamity, gross now tank syndrome in QT and DT!)

That said, inexperienced people should not do it. There are a few tricks indeed to QT many fish at once. If you are not well-versed with disease control, learn by QTing one fish at a time. The tuition is lower, though do not accept this as the best method after you become very experienced.

1. You have to make very sure that there will not be ammonia issue in both QT and later in the DT.

2. You have to reduce the chance of infectious bacterial (and viral) infection in confined space. A tank is a confined space pathologically speaking. Always be aware of this. For bacterial infection I always have UV properly set up, while I ERADICATE ich in the eight weeks min needed. I often go 10-12 weeks in QT.

Cymonous
12/27/2012, 12:59 PM
This really depends on how large of a QT you are running. If it is a 10gallon, then I would say no. A 20gallon is a possibility, though depending on the type of fish you are buying. If this is a 30+, then I would say it is fine with that many fish.

You just don't want to take the chance of a large bioload (poo=ammonia=death if capacity is exceeded).

Have you checked on the "intended fish purchases" thread to check fish compatibility with each other and your current tank mates?

Cymonous
12/27/2012, 01:00 PM
Grr! Dang double-post.

wooden_reefer
12/27/2012, 01:07 PM
This really depends on how large of a QT you are running. If it is a 10gallon, then I would say no. A 20gallon is a possibility, though depending on the type of fish you are buying. If this is a 30+, then I would say it is fine with that many fish.

You just don't want to take the chance of a large bioload (poo=ammonia=death if capacity is exceeded).

Have you checked on the "intended fish purchases" thread to check fish compatibility with each other and your current tank mates?

The ammonia processing capacity is in the size and setup (recent history) of the filter, not the tank.

The tank size is important in the "happy" factor of the fish. Some fish will not eat well in too small a tank.

DMBFan
12/27/2012, 01:12 PM
This really depends on how large of a QT you are running. If it is a 10gallon, then I would say no. A 20gallon is a possibility, though depending on the type of fish you are buying. If this is a 30+, then I would say it is fine with that many fish.

You just don't want to take the chance of a large bioload (poo=ammonia=death if capacity is exceeded).

Have you checked on the "intended fish purchases" thread to check fish compatibility with each other and your current tank mates?

Yeah, everyone that's coming in is compatible (checked in with that thread first). I have a 36 gallon QT that's cycling. I'm trying to save on the shipping costs... ordering online and paying $35 in shipping for a $30 fish seems rather wasteful! Paying that on a $120 order of 5 fish sits better with me... as long as doing it isn't going to basically cost me the entire order because they all die in QT.

I plan on doing 5 gallon changes a few times a week in the QT for 7-9 weeks while they prove their health.

The QT tank has a decent sized air pump, a HOB designed to support up to 40 gallon tank (with filter floss only in it, no carbon), a heater, some PVC for hiding, and a small circulation pump. I've been ghost feeding it for a few weeks and my nitrite is now dropping.

I guess as long as I'm prepared for a bio-shock and willing to do more water changes if their poo starts winning I should be okay with the 5.

wooden_reefer
12/27/2012, 01:21 PM
Yeah, everyone that's coming in is compatible (checked in with that thread first). I have a 36 gallon QT that's cycling. I'm trying to save on the shipping costs... ordering online and paying $35 in shipping for a $30 fish seems rather wasteful! Paying that on a $120 order of 5 fish sits better with me... as long as doing it isn't going to basically cost me the entire order because they all die in QT.

I plan on doing 5 gallon changes a few times a week in the QT for 7-9 weeks while they prove their health.

The QT tank has a decent sized air pump, a HOB designed to support up to 40 gallon tank (with filter floss only in it, no carbon), a heater, some PVC for hiding, and a small circulation pump. I've been ghost feeding it for a few weeks and my nitrite is now dropping.

I guess as long as I'm prepared for a bio-shock and willing to do more water changes if their poo starts winning I should be okay with the 5.

Air pump! The bursting of the bubble creates spray that cause salt deposit.

Have you robustly cycled the filter medium for the QT? If not, you are into a lot of work or even failure.

wooden_reefer
12/27/2012, 01:23 PM
"I plan on doing 5 gallon changes a few times a week in the QT for 7-9 weeks while they prove their health."

This does almost nothing to keep ammonia zero or extremely low.

I seldom have to do any WC, none at all, in QT during the 8-12 weeks to eradicate ich.

Cymonous
12/27/2012, 01:35 PM
So, you are saying that 5 small fish in a saltwater QT of 10 gallons would actually be ok if the filter was good? I find that very hard to believe. A small QT of 10 gallons is not going to have the bacteria needed to process the ammonia made from 5 fish.

"Happy Factor?" A Tang is not too happy in a DT smaller than 125gallons, but can be put in a 10gallon QT by itself for 6-9 weeks. I don't think "Happy Factor" is really factored in a QT.

Cymonous
12/27/2012, 01:35 PM
Why do i keep getting double-posts??

Cymonous
12/27/2012, 01:41 PM
Air pump! The bursting of the bubble creates spray that cause salt deposit.

Have you robustly cycled the filter medium for the QT? If not, you are into a lot of work or even failure.

The air pump provides O2 if there is not enough surface movement in the tank. Yes, there is the chance of salt creep, but I would rather have that then to have the fish die due to low O2.

DMBFan
12/27/2012, 01:44 PM
Air pump! The bursting of the bubble creates spray that cause salt deposit.
I have a glass top on it.

Have you robustly cycled the filter medium for the QT? If not, you are into a lot of work or even failure.
The filter medium spent a few weeks in my DT sump getting decent flow, and has been in my QT since I set it up. Since it's converting ammonia and nitrite I would say it's close, yeah. I'm still a few weeks away from feeling good about it's ability (once my nitrites stay at 0 while still ghost feeding).

Cymonous
12/27/2012, 01:46 PM
Yeah, everyone that's coming in is compatible (checked in with that thread first). I have a 36 gallon QT that's cycling. I'm trying to save on the shipping costs... ordering online and paying $35 in shipping for a $30 fish seems rather wasteful! Paying that on a $120 order of 5 fish sits better with me... as long as doing it isn't going to basically cost me the entire order because they all die in QT.

I plan on doing 5 gallon changes a few times a week in the QT for 7-9 weeks while they prove their health.

The QT tank has a decent sized air pump, a HOB designed to support up to 40 gallon tank (with filter floss only in it, no carbon), a heater, some PVC for hiding, and a small circulation pump. I've been ghost feeding it for a few weeks and my nitrite is now dropping.

I guess as long as I'm prepared for a bio-shock and willing to do more water changes if their poo starts winning I should be okay with the 5.

Your 36gallon should be sufficient for your 5 fish. You should only need to do one 5gallon change a week unless ammonia does spike. I highly recommend one of those Ammonia alert badges just in-case. And make sure to have an equal amount of at least RODI water available to do a water change.

sponger0
12/27/2012, 01:56 PM
Depends on the fish if that tank is going to work for QTing 5 fish. I mean if one of them is a adult achilles tang, that probably wont work lol. What are the fish you are getting?

DMBFan
12/27/2012, 02:00 PM
1 Kaudern's Cardinal (Pterapogon kauderni)
1 Orchid Dottyback (Pseudochromis fridmani)
3 Zebra Barred Dartfish (Ptereleotris zebra)

DMBFan
12/27/2012, 02:00 PM
dupe post

sponger0
12/27/2012, 02:05 PM
They should be fine in a 36 for sure. Your sig says 120 gallon so wasnt sure of the size fish you purchased.

wooden_reefer
12/27/2012, 02:06 PM
"A small QT of 10 gallons is not going to have the bacteria needed to process the ammonia made from 5 fish."

Not necessarily true. The setup and the recent history of the filter will decide nitrification capacity.

But in practice too small a QT may stress fish mentally.

Get a rather large tank for QT for mental reason. Some fish will not be happy in too small a QT.

wooden_reefer
12/27/2012, 02:12 PM
Considering the bioload from say an eight inch fish, bioload in QT is not the issue.

If a ten gal QT cannot deal with the bioload from three 3-4 inch fish, a QT must be very large to handle the bioload from an 8 inch fish.

Bioload in QT and DT is more inline with the weight or volume of the fish than its length, to the third power of length. The population of nitrification bacteria will increase to match bioload from decay (in cycling) or from livestock.

A fish of the same shape increases bioload 8 times if the length doubles.

wooden_reefer
12/27/2012, 02:21 PM
Just three stretched out nylon sacks of crushed coral each about the size of grapefruit, particularly with water dripping onto them, will handle the bioload from an eight inch fish.

It is easy to make sure that there will be no ammonia in QT if one cycles well in advance.

wooden_reefer
12/27/2012, 02:24 PM
The air pump provides O2 if there is not enough surface movement in the tank. Yes, there is the chance of salt creep, but I would rather have that then to have the fish die due to low O2.

Dripping water onto filter oxygenates it very well without salt creep.

The filter would be like a lung from higher animals, not like gills!

wooden_reefer
12/27/2012, 02:29 PM
So, you are saying that 5 small fish in a saltwater QT of 10 gallons would actually be ok if the filter was good? I find that very hard to believe. A small QT of 10 gallons is not going to have the bacteria needed to process the ammonia made from 5 fish.

"Happy Factor?" A Tang is not too happy in a DT smaller than 125gallons, but can be put in a 10gallon QT by itself for 6-9 weeks. I don't think "Happy Factor" is really factored in a QT.

I am saying that ammonia will not be a problem.

Problem may well come in in the form of bacterial infection in confined space, particular if there is no means, such as a UV, to reduce the waterborne concentration of pathogenic bacteria.

Problem may come in as each fish come to close together for comfort. Each fish does not have the personal space even if a little upset mentally from collection and capitivity to be terrtorial.

wooden_reefer
12/27/2012, 02:38 PM
I have a glass top on it.


The filter medium spent a few weeks in my DT sump getting decent flow, and has been in my QT since I set it up. Since it's converting ammonia and nitrite I would say it's close, yeah. I'm still a few weeks away from feeling good about it's ability (once my nitrites stay at 0 while still ghost feeding).

Putting filter medium intended for QT in DT will not do well. Doing so will only "seed" it, not grow it. If you only seed the medium for QT, you will be cycling with the fish while in QT.

The medium for QT should be deliberately and separately cycled in advance to handle the bioload in QT.

(For me, often 10 -100 times over capacity so that most of the nitrification bacteria in QT will starve due to low level of ammonia.)

wooden_reefer
12/27/2012, 02:42 PM
So, you are saying that 5 small fish in a saltwater QT of 10 gallons would actually be ok if the filter was good? I find that very hard to believe. A small QT of 10 gallons is not going to have the bacteria needed to process the ammonia made from 5 fish.

"Happy Factor?" A Tang is not too happy in a DT smaller than 125gallons, but can be put in a 10gallon QT by itself for 6-9 weeks. I don't think "Happy Factor" is really factored in a QT.

At least happy enough to eat well for the 8 weeks to eradicate ich.

DMBFan
12/27/2012, 02:44 PM
I think I was unclear... The medium that is currently in my QT, that has been there for weeks, spent it's first few weeks in my DT (from new to DT).

Seeding it just makes the start of the process quicker... I add food usually every other day, sometimes daily, to keep the addition of ammonia consistent.

wooden_reefer
12/27/2012, 02:58 PM
I think I was unclear... The medium that is currently in my QT, that has been there for weeks, spent it's first few weeks in my DT (from new to DT).

Seeding it just makes the start of the process quicker... I add food usually every other day, sometimes daily, to keep the addition of ammonia consistent.

Seeding makes it possible not fast enough. The speed of cycling depends on many factors, ammonia level, circulation/oxygenation, temperature and so forth. This should be done without the fish in advance.

Before you get your fish, put in ammonia in the water you cycle the QT medium that has been "seeded". Let the cycle complete in the QT or in a separate container.

Hint:

1. nearly all the nitrification bacetria is bonded onto the surface of the medium so you can "harvest" the mature filter medium after cycling.

2. You can do a 100% change of the water you cycle the QT medium in. The water quality of the cycling water needs to have nothing to do with the water quality of the QT water.

Cymonous
12/27/2012, 03:00 PM
Ok, I am done trying to convince otherwise.

DMBFan, I highly recommend reading the QT Sticky under New to the Hobby if you still needing answers. bnumair is very knowledgable on this subject.
http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2195588

wooden_reefer
12/27/2012, 03:11 PM
So, you are saying that 5 small fish in a saltwater QT of 10 gallons would actually be ok if the filter was good? I find that very hard to believe. A small QT of 10 gallons is not going to have the bacteria needed to process the ammonia made from 5 fish.

"Happy Factor?" A Tang is not too happy in a DT smaller than 125gallons, but can be put in a 10gallon QT by itself for 6-9 weeks. I don't think "Happy Factor" is really factored in a QT.

You should find it easy to believe that there can be no ammonia. One has to define "good ". There can be other non-ammonia problems in such a small tank.

You can have a large, very efficient filter in a 10 gal QT that (the medium)has processed enough ammonia recently.

Not easy to see?

wooden_reefer
12/27/2012, 03:21 PM
Ok, I am done trying to convince otherwise.

DMBFan, I highly recommend reading the QT Sticky under New to the Hobby if you still needing answers. bnumair is very knowledgable on this subject.
http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2195588

Well, the OP's subject is QTing multiple fish.

The means to rid the QT tank of ammonia has to be of primary concern.

What sticky addresses this issue well?

Frequent water change during QT is even more problematic when the biolaod in QT is heavy.

Bioload in QT should not be the issue, in fact.

ken55
12/27/2012, 03:52 PM
In regard to the bio-load issue, would it not be practical to take some rubble sized pieces of live rock from the established DT and place into the QT? Not huge chunks that may start a die-off cycle if the bacteria don't have enough to work with but just a scattering of rubble to make sure the bio-load of multiple fish can be handled. Just a little insurance in case the floss isn't ready or can't quite handle the full load at the start.

Granted, if the Op has to medicate the rubble is probably worthless afterward but if not, then they can go right back into the DT.

Just a thought.

wooden_reefer
12/27/2012, 04:00 PM
In regard to the bio-load issue, would it not be practical to take some rubble sized pieces of live rock from the established DT and place into the QT? Not huge chunks that may start a die-off cycle if the bacteria don't have enough to work with but just a scattering of rubble to make sure the bio-load of multiple fish can be handled. Just a little insurance in case the floss isn't ready or can't quite handle the full load at the start.

Granted, if the Op has to medicate the rubble is probably worthless afterward but if not, then they can go right back into the DT.

Just a thought.

A matter of quantitative thinking. You will generally be just "seeding" the QT medium doing it just this way. This should be done but this alone will only be seeding the QT medium, you need to grow it separately.

This really is a very simple concept.

At long equilibrium, the nitrification bacteria population in DT will be in balance with the bioload of the DT, not limitless. Just by taking some mature medium in DT will remove some needed in the DT.

It depends on the relative split and the bioload needed in QT.

This method of seeding the medium in QT and then using at once might work in Qt of one small fish, as all you have to do then is to limit feeding in the DT for a little while.

But if the bioload in QT is high, this method does not work at all. The nitrification bacteria in the medium in QT has to have the time to grow before using in QT, otherwise it is cycling with fish in QT--calamity

wooden_reefer
12/27/2012, 04:08 PM
One can say one should QT only one fish at a time.

But what if that one fish is 8 inches long? How do you QT one 8 inch fish?

You may not be able to escape the bioload issue in QT.

ken55
12/27/2012, 04:26 PM
But if the bioload in QT is high, this method does not work at all. The nitrification bacteria in the medium in QT has to have the time to grow before using in QT, otherwise it is cycling with fish in QT--calamity

So, umm, how would one go about achieving immediate balance in a QT that is only really used when quarantining fish? Once the fish have proven to be healthy then they go into the DT and the QT is again fallow. When the next fish come in the QT will need to rebalance itself (again). Also, I'm not convinced that removing a few pieces of rubble will disrupt a 120g DT to the point of danger, as it also will rebalance itself.

I guess the part of the simple concept that I'm missing is how to achieve long equilibrium in a tank that sometimes has fish and sometimes doesn't.

wooden_reefer
12/27/2012, 04:34 PM
So, umm, how would one go about achieving immediate balance in a QT that is only really used when quarantining fish? .

Excretion from fish is only one source of ammonia.

There is decay of protein.

So the simple answer is to cycle the medium for QT very well in advance generally using decay of animal protein.

Do you still think of cycling in terms of livestock or decay on LR?

Also, nitrification bacteria have an idle state when they do not die at once due to lack of ammonia, so ammonia can be fed in pulses.

DMBFan
12/27/2012, 04:45 PM
Seeding makes it possible not fast enough. The speed of cycling depends on many factors, ammonia level, circulation/oxygenation, temperature and so forth. This should be done without the fish in advance.

Before you get your fish, put in ammonia in the water you cycle the QT medium that has been "seeded". Let the cycle complete in the QT or in a separate container.

Hint:

1. nearly all the nitrification bacetria is bonded onto the surface of the medium so you can "harvest" the mature filter medium after cycling.

2. You can do a 100% change of the water you cycle the QT medium in. The water quality of the cycling water needs to have nothing to do with the water quality of the QT water.

I may not have been clear about the timeline... I am ghost feeding my QT (currently), and have been for a few weeks.... There are no fish in my QT tank.... I am not planning on putting them in there until the cycle is complete. I thought I was clear about this, but I may have been vague about what has happened, and what hasn't.

I had already read through the "QT" sticky, which is how I gained my equipment list and started the cycle in there.

This thread may have gone off track with others debating what is or isn't an 8" fish or something... I was just wondering if people had good/bad/otherwise experiences with multiple fish going into the same QT at the same time. :deadhorse1:

The lesson(s): Make sure your QT tank can support the bio load of the fish, and their poo. Not just in tank size, but in filter media size and maturity.
Water changes aren't as important, except to remove nitrate levels if they manage to get too high in the 7-9 week process. But I still plan on taking 5 gallons or so a week from my DT and using that as a water change in the QT, so after a few weeks the levels are really close. It will help the acclimation process.
Do not add fish until the cycle is done (already planned).

A side note, I would never add live rock from DT to QT unless it was going to stay there. I don't even use the same hoses/nets/etc between the two. Not worth the risk.

Thanks for the input :)

wooden_reefer
12/27/2012, 04:59 PM
"This thread may have gone off track with others debating what is or isn't an 8" fish or something... I was just wondering if people had good/bad/otherwise experiences with multiple fish going into the same QT at the same time. "

Qting multiple fish has worked for me in general.

Ammonia is one consideration.

Basically a closed system with wild caught fish from all over the world is a fundamental challenge. pathogens can multiply in such confinement.

Nutrition is of course fundamental but is often grossly insufficient.

I believe there has to be control over concentration of waterborne pathogens in such closed envirnoment. There has not been tank-wide bacterial infection and incidents of bacterial infection on individual fish has declined by about 80% since I started to use UV properly about 25 years ago.

Overall I will always QT as many fish as I can get for a certain setup as the benefits far outweighs the concern; but begineers who are not familar with disease control should QT one at a time to learn how to deal with different diseases.